Why More Women Should Consider Computer Programming


Everyone knows that programming may be a heavily male-dominated field. i feel this is often unfortunate. Over the years, I’ve come to conclude that there’s an excellent deal that ladies can contribute to the present field.

Why is programming considered a primarily masculine discipline? i feel that partially , it’s because men have a reputation for being more likely to tinker around with gadgets and gizmos. In part, it is also because computing is supposedly a really math-oriented field, and men are supposedly more inclined toward mathematical disciplines.

(Incidentally, i do know that such generalizations would offend certain people. I’d wish to emphasize that this is often not my intent in the least , nor do I wish to form excessively broad generalizations about either gender. However, a mess of psychological studies do claim that men have-on the average-a greater aptitude for mathematics and mechanics than women do, whereas women tend to perform better at linguistics and communication. These tendencies coincide well with my very own observations, so for now, I’ll assume that these studies are reasonable descriptions of gender differences.)

Anyway, people often claim that men make better programmers because they’re more mathematically inclined. Personally, I disagree. it’s true that computing is extremely much mathematical in nature; however, programming often isn’t . It’s true that a software developer should understand basic concepts like binary computations, round-off error and Boolean logic; however, for many programming tasks, there’s no use for calculus, pure mathematics or other advanced mathematical topics. For this reason, i feel that the importance of a robust mathematical aptitude is essentially overblown.

Indeed, i feel that linguistic skill is decidedly more important. I’d say that in years past, about 90% of the programmers that I encountered produced sloppy code-software that’s clumsily structured, poorly documented and difficult to know . I’ve also noticed a robust correlation between linguistic skill and therefore the ability to get clean, legible code. And why not? Computer languages are, after all, just that-languages. It’s thus reasonable to expect that somebody with a robust language aptitude will-on the average-produce cleaner, more understandable code than someone whose language skills are lackluster.

That is one reason why I wish more women would pursue a programming career. If it’s indeed true that ladies have better language skills, then they’re likely to perform well with computer languages also . Again, this jibes well with my very own experiences. i have never known many female programmers, but most of those that I do know have produced some rather outstanding work. (To be fair, I’ve also known some lousy female programmers; however, these individuals had little passion for his or her field, and only entered it for the sake of a paycheck. That’s a reasonably good recipe for mediocrity, no matter one’s gender.)

Breaking into this field might not be easy. I’m sure that a lot of women will need to combat the prejudiced notion that software development may be a man’s field, which female programmers are mere dilettantes. Still, it’s my earnest hope that more women will make their marks during this arena. If they need the proper passion for this field, and if they understand their strengths, then i think that they need much to supply .

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